Too Seldom Is Heard an Encouraging Word: Why and How to Offer More Compliments

Idle words are characterless and die upon utterance. Evil words rankle for a while, make contentions, and then die. But the hopeful, kind, cheering word sinks into a man’s heart and goes on bearing fruit forever. How many beautiful written words—words in book and song and story—are still inspiring men and making the world fragrant with their beauty! It is just so with the words you write, not on paper, but on the hearts of men. This world is full of men bearing in their minds deathless words of inspiration heard in youth from lips now still forever. Speak hopeful words every chance you get.

Why We Should Compliment More

Compliments encourage others who are struggling

Compliments help children learn new tasks

Compliments strengthen (and soften) relationships

Compliments charm others and increase our circle of influence

Compliments help you be less cynical

Reasons You Don’t Compliment More Often

Our brains are designed to focus on the negative

You’re self-absorbed

You see everything as a competition

You’re shy

You assume they already know

You don’t know what to say

How to Give a Compliment

Start paying attention

Compliment the small stuff

Be specific

Be sincere

Avoid the backhanded compliment. The backhanded compliment isn’t even a compliment, but rather an insult disguised as one. It can be a tool of the passive aggressive person to express disdain without completely owning up to it. We’ve all been subject to backhanded compliments one time or another.

  • Your painting is surprisingly good.”
  • “You’re smarter than you look.”
  • “I’m really impressed you’ve held a job for more than 6 months.”
  • “You look pretty good considering your age
        Explain how the person’s great qualities affect you
         Vocalize your thoughts
          Compliment someone in front of others
          Don’t delay

      The Compliment Challenge

For the next week, challenge yourself to compliment five different people every day:

  • A loved one or friend. Compliments are an easy way to strengthen the bonds between you and your loved ones.
  • A co-worker. Be a morale booster at your office by seeking opportunities to compliment your fellow employees.
  • A business you frequent. Most businesses just hear complaints all day. Very few people take the time to compliment them on good service or creating a quality product.
  • A young person. Young people need nurturing and one of the best ways to do that is through a thoughtful compliment from an older person. You have no idea how much it will mean to that kid.
  • A stranger. Make a random stranger’s day by offering a sincere compliment. It doesn’t have to be anything big. A simple, “I like your hat,” will do